Barely a year old, Cologne, Germany-based Nautilus Productions has pilots in the works for the many kids shows it’s developing-all slated for release in early 2001-according to Ross Franks, managing director.
Acrowpolis, with a US$3.6-million budget, tells the animated tale of the three Kowalski crow brothers that live in a futuristic city inhabited primarily by crows. In each episode, the brothers are given an assignment by their underground system guy ‘Egg’ (who is an egg), to ensure their crow world stays safe from harm. The crow siblings fight assorted evil in each of the 13 x 15-minute episodes targeted at the seven to 12 set.
Herman’s Adventures in Australia is an animated preschool show about a Koala bear (named Herman) that grew up in a German zoo but is taken back to his natural Australian habitat when his parents die. While there, the koala with the German accent befriends local folk and fauna, and adventures ensue. This 13 x five-minute series is budgeted at US$1.9 million.
Another preschool program in the works is Alphabet Village, also with a US$1.9-million pricetag, which differs in that it involves ‘Sesame Street-type’ puppets (made in-house) and is a combination of animation and puppetry. This 13 x 15-minute series is an English learning
program where animal puppets are the students of an old dinosaur professor. The dino-prof uses his magic book of stories from around the world to teach the animal tots about their ancestors.
Nautilus is also co-producing a clay animated program with London-based Art Geek U.K. Dog Tails, a 13 x five-minute series that has no
dialogue, just music and sound effects, shows viewers (no set target demo) what things are like from a dog’s perspective. Each episode begins in the dog pound run by a man who greets each potential adoptive parent in a yellow dog suit. Each of the prospective pet-owners adopt a pooch with some kind of parallel to themselves-like Baldy Dog, who has one hair on his head and whose new owner is also follicly challenged. (Baldy’s new owner buys them each a wig and the antics begin.) The pilot was completed this past June in London. With a series budget of US$1.4 million, Nautilus is currently in discussions with a distribution partner and broadcaster.